We’ve made it through the big promotional weekend…Black Friday and Cyber Monday! And after talking about it A LOT December is finally here – heart-warming Christmas adverts galore and all radio DJs have played 'Step into Christmas' at least once. So what now?
Well it doesn’t mean the promotions will end, they will definitely continue right through - between now and Christmas – but that promotional weekend completed does mark two important things.
Number one - most of the big retailers have shown their hand – we now know the promotions they are going to be putting out – which means that number two is - the customer is ready to buy because they’ve seen what’s on offer.
For products business owners there is this period of waiting before Black Friday. You may have felt that last week customers weren’t necessarily waiting for a discount but they were waiting to see what discounts were available. And now they know. So now we are into the full-blown Christmas selling period.
What are your customers thinking right now?
Although it’s a very short window you will see different peaks and troughs of interest from your customers at different times. Knowing what is in their mind right now and throughout December is key to your selling success.
In the first week of December - advent calendars have been bought but Christmas decorations are very much in people’s minds. Christmas trees are starting to go up - the peak time for trees going up is this week and next - so people are looking for decorations. They’re thinking about decorating their house – so colour scheme inspiration is welcomed by customers or ready to go packs of decorations such as baubles are a great idea.
As you get later into December people are still buying decorations but it becomes more of a gift giving idea – a very popular decoration gift is baby’s first Christmas ornaments and these sorts of sales continue right up to Christmas.
Now is most definitely the time people start thinking about those, people are thinking about their gifting overall – reviewing what they’ve already purchased and what’s left to get before the big day - gifting is obviously a huge theme all the way through December but your messaging can be tweaked depending on where we are in December.
A lot of work Christmas parties will be happening this week and next and that usually means secret santa. There’s often a limit of £5 to £10..£15 if it’s really fancy! The trick is to get into your customers mindset - where they are right now – your messaging needs to reflect that back to them and show them that you know and understand what’s going on in their lives right now.
Review your promotions & offers
The other things that you need to think about from a business point of view is if you’ve got any offers that you ran over Black Friday – how are they doing? Do you want to continue you them a little longer or stop them? Do you want to offer different things? Is your priority now to message about your gift guide again? Or gift giving – highlighting that product that makes the perfect gift? Now is the time to think about your priority messaging.
It's also a key time to review those personal touches that you planned for December - additional services such as gift wrapping – something to make it really, really simple for people who are very time poor because during that crunch time of the year when people don’t really have a lot of time these sorts of things can secure a purchase.
Check your stock levels
Stock, stock, stock – have a look at what you’ve got. I can’t stress this enough – if you have got product that is really CHRISTMAS then you want it sold by the 26th December and now is the time to push it – to promote it. Under normal circumstances I’m not a fan of repeatedly doing big discounts – but this time of year is an exception – especially with those seasonal products, remember, you have got a very small window to sell them in.
Review your post Christmas sale plans
Are you going to be doing a Boxing Day sale? Look at what you want to put into that sale – if you think you’re going to be sitting on a lot of those stock items – now is the time to promote them. If you were to do a 30% off now that you know later on will be 50% off, you’re still making more money than if you wait for the big sale.
So these are my top tips for what to focus on in order to push sales throughout December. Think about where the customer is right now, tailor your messaging accordingly and keep looking at what you’ve got in your business in terms of stock – know what you want to clear out – what you know isn’t going to carry forward to what you’re going to be selling in January and do what you can to get those sales now and get that cash into your business ready for Christmas. Good luck!
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